“You will lead by a different model.”
In what no one knew would be his final meal this side of a crucifix, Jesus friends were arguing about which of them would be the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Jesus interrupted their argument, saying, “The kings and men of authority in this world rule oppressively over their subjects, claiming that they do it for the good of the people. They are obsessed with how others see them. But this is not your calling. You will lead by a different model. The greatest one among you will live as
one called to serve others without honor. The greatest honor and authority is reserved for the one who has a servant heart. The leaders who are served are the most important in your eyes, but in the kingdom, it is the servants who lead. Am I not here with you as one who serves you?” (Luke 22:25-27 TPT)
Jesus entered into a system where “The kings and men of authority [ruled] oppressively over their subjects, claiming that they did it for the good of the people.” And while living within that system, he inaugurated a different kind of world. Or more accurately, he reminded us of how it was always supposed to be: “This is not your calling. You will lead by a different model. The greatest one among you
will live as one called to serve others without honor. The greatest honor and authority is reserved for the one who has a servant heart.”
We’ve all heard this servant call on platforms and soapboxes the world over again… but how do we do it? How do live within the system of oppression that seems to run the world, including our own, but be a part of the sacred world that God has always meant for us?
Well, my friends herein lies the tension.
“We will create a new world right in the middle of this one as we lead by a different model: one that serves and blesses, rather than curses and divides.”
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(NB: I’ve written about this before, but salvation isn’t about getting a ticket into heaven. It’s to bring heaven to earth, here and now, amongst us and within us. You can read more about this by searching “heaven” on our website pktfuel.com.)
Here’s some wisdom from Richard Rohr:
“Immature religion creates people who know what they are against, but have a very poor sense of what they are for. They are against sin, always as they narrowly define it; but they are seldom for love or actually for anything except the status quo where they think they are in control. This is indeed “the world” and will never get them very far if they are trapped within it—unless they recognize this same world as pervaded with heaven. For me, this is the genius of the Gospel. The world is good in its wholeness, but our little portion of separated parts is never the whole, so we must leave our addiction to the system to discover the Empire of God. We must always let go of full control over the parts to love and accept the whole.” (1)
The Kingdom of heaven is here among us as Christ is within us, and is still yet to come as we learn to serve each other; as we learn to relinquish our need for control and power (to be the winners and the ones on top); as we learn to continually resist a world that insists some belong and some don’t.
We can be at home in the world by declaring with our lives Divine love, rather than fighting for our small part to cling to.
We will create a new world right in the middle of this one as we lead by a different model: one that serves and blesses, rather than curses and divides.
Written by Liz Milani
1). Richard Rohr. Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer.